A sales enablement tool is any tool—typically in the form of a SaaS—that has the ultimate goal of driving more sales for your business. These days, there are dozens—if not hundreds—of sales enablement tools on the market that can help your business reach some serious profit-earning goals.
But, as more and more sales enablement tools get rolled out, how do you know which ones are the best for your business? Each business will like different tools depending on their needs (short-term or long-term), budget, and goals.
In 2021, 74 percent of companies reported having a dedicated sales enablement person, program, or function, up from 55 percent in 2019 and 62 percent in 2020, according to the State of Sales Enablement 2021 report. Are you part of this growth?
If you are, we’ll help you see what sales enablement tools you should be considering for 2022. And, if sales enablement tools are just getting on your radar, we’ll help you determine what’s best for you.
What is sales enablement?
According to Gartner, “Sales enablement is the process of providing the sales organization with the information, content, and tools that help salespeople sell more effectively.” It brings together elements of marketing, sales, customer relationships, brand management, and several other critical components to drive sales.
To take it a step further, with a sales enablement tool, companies who want to close the loops between all these teams and take a more consistent, cohesive approach to maximize their sales efforts can utilize specific tools to make the job easier. Sales enablement tools—no matter which platform or system is right for you—will ultimately provide your teams with an overview of the entire sales funnel while giving you access to solutions to make or automate decisions along the way.
What can sales enablement do for your business and sales team?
How necessary are sales enablement tools? In the State of Sales Enablement report, companies reported a win rate increase of three points for each additional year that sales enablement is in place.
Sales enablement tools come in different forms and can have additional capabilities, though the end goal is the same across the board. Some companies may choose a sales enablement tool to help with a specific component of the sales lifecycle, or they may want a tool that does a little bit of everything.
Some of the benefits of sales enablement include:
- Being able to execute sales more efficiently
- Can make sales quicker
- More overall organization so you never miss a lead
- Can foster stronger customer relationships and brand loyalty
- Can provide consistency with the approach sales reps are using in your company
- Can ensure that every employee engaged with the sales process is on the same page
- Can automate processes that would typically take a lot of time, saving you energy and resources
The best sales enablement tools for 2022
1. Best for general CRM: Salesforce
There’s no denying that the household name of Salesforce is a leader in CRM. Providing companies with an all-encompassing software to manage and personalize every aspect of the user journey and their user-friendly interface helps everyone—from small businesses to massive companies.
G2 Rating: 4.2/5 stars (11,963 reviews)
Capterra Rating: 4.4/5 stars (16,483 reviews)
2. Best free CRM: Hubspot
CRM tools can do a lot, but they generally cost money to take advantage of all available features. The good news is that some free CRM tools still have a lot to offer, and Hubspot takes the lead for the best free CRM tool. With embedded marketing, sales, CMS, and payment collection tools, you can utilize Hubspot for most of your sales needs.
G2 Rating: 4.4/5 stars (8,076 reviews) | Capterra Rating: 4.5/5 stars (2,921 reviews)
3. Best for small business CRM: Pipeline
Automation is the first step to a streamlined sales process, and Pipeline helps small businesses get there faster. From being able to automate email campaigns and tracking to easy integration with other tools like Gmail and Quickbooks, sales forecasting, and unlimited files storage, Pipeline is a great sales enablement tool to get you started.
G2 Rating: 4.4/5 stars (898 reviews) | Capterra Rating: 4.4/5 stars (608 reviews)
Lead intelligence tools
4. Best for contact info: ZoomInfo
ZoomInfo is a B2B database sales enablement tool primarily used to help you uncover opportunities in your market. It does this by connecting B2B intelligence/contract info with the tools to engage with that information and create workflows to reach buyers faster. You can use many applications within, including email and phone automation, to help increase sales.
G2 Rating: 4.4/5 stars (5,418 reviews) | Capterra Rating: 4.3/5 stars (160 reviews)
5. Best for personalization: Leadgenius
Attracting high-qualified leads is one of the keys to growth marketing, and Leadgenius tends to do pretty well in this department. Leadgenius is another tool that helps you track down meaningful B2B data—and act on valuable insights. The software combines B2B data, data outsourcing, and robotic process automation to help you bring in more qualified leads and speed up your sales cycle overall.
G2 Rating: 4.3/5 stars (13 reviews) | Capterra Rating: 4.0/5 stars (3 reviews)
6. Best for automation: Outreach
Though it might be considered “CRM-related,” we still think it belongs in this category. A new-wave tool, “19 of the top 25 fastest-growing public software companies trust Outreach,” according to their site. With Outreach, you can automate and execute your entire sales cycle more efficiently in part by giving you a holistic view of what’s going on. Scale workflows that deliver results and drive growth with better forecasting without the siloed approach you often see in traditional sales tools.
G2 Rating: 4.3/5 stars (2,782 reviews) | Capterra Rating: 4.5/5 stars (253 reviews)
7. Best for scheduling calls: Calendly
If you’ve ever scheduled an online meeting— or had someone schedule a meeting with you—then chances are, you’ve probably used Calendly before. Out of all the scheduling tools, Calendly continues to be a favorite among businesses of all sizes. Easy to embed into your emails, texts, or social media campaigns—and automatic time zone adjustment—Calendly is easy to use and can lead to more closed deals.
G2 Rating: 4.7/5 stars (1,230 reviews) | Capterra Rating: 4.7/5 stars (1,742 reviews)
8. Best for onboarding: Guru
Speaking of productivity, any tool that can make your sales teams more cohesive will likely lead to better sales outcomes. And, this all starts in the beginning, when your sales leaders begin onboarding and training new staff. Guru is a tool that makes this process—one that many companies tend to struggle with—A LOT easier. This wiki allows you to organize information (for instance, everything your new team needs to know about a product), streamline internal communications, integrate with other software like Slack and Teams, record sales training videos, etc.
G2 Rating: 4.6/5 stars (1,234 reviews) | Capterra Rating: 4.6/5 stars (79 reviews)
9. Best for team alignment: Loom
Videos are a much more common way for people to communicate in the workplace, especially these days in hybrid and remote work environments. Loom makes it easy to not only record videos—and, yourself on them—but message them to your team, saving valuable time and resources and thus increasing productivity overall.
G2 Rating: 4.5/5 stars (224 reviews) | Capterra Rating: 4.6/5 stars (198 reviews)
10. Best for revenue: Gong
If you’re looking to close more deals and earn more revenue, then Gong is the best enablement tool to get the job done. By giving you a look into all your consumer-facing interactions, including web, email, and phone, team performance, and market changes, Gong analyzes these to help you increase revenue per rep overall. Plus, their website is highly user-friendly and engaging!
G2 Rating: 4.7/5 stars (3,682 reviews) | Capterra Rating: 4.8/5 stars (492 reviews)
11. Best for signing contracts: Docusign
Many people sign documents electronically these days, which is crucial for businesses that don’t want to waste any time converting a lead or closing a deal. Compared to other companies (especially those that integrate directly into your email), you might find that Docusign offers morel. Why? First and foremost, they have a free option, meaning that the tool will always be free for signers.
G2 Rating: 4.5/5 stars (1,847 reviews) | Capterra Rating: 4.8/5 stars (6,405 reviews)
12. Best for sales collateral: Docsend
There are many eSignature platforms out there, but what if one could take it a step further? After all, that’s nothing more frustrating than sending out contracts to be signed, only to have no idea if they’ve ended up in the abyss or your lead is taking the time to mull it over. Docsend gives you data on your docs and even has cool features like allowing you to update or edit a doc even after you’ve sent it. A great sales enablement and content management tool for startups!
G2 Rating: 4.6/5 stars (449 reviews) | Capterra Rating: 4.6/5 stars (50 reviews)
13. Best for invoicing: Wave
With business rolling in quickly, managing all those purchase orders and invoices can easily get overwhelming. If you’ve ever found yourself forgetting about a payment—or forgetting to pay someone—Wave is a great tool to help you manage your invoices, expenses, payroll, and overall accounting. No more having to chase after payments from a customer; they’ll do it for you!
G2 Rating: 4.4/5 stars (253 reviews) | Capterra Rating: 4.4/5 stars (1,154 reviews)
14. Best for overall communication: Salesloft
Any good sales tool should focus on communication, but some do it better than others. For those whose main form of sales happens via having strong communication with your customers throughout the entire sales cycle, SalesLoft is the way to go. It also has a detailed analytics feature that can allow you to dig deep into your sales analytics to produce actionable change.
G2 Rating: 4.5/5 stars (2,807 reviews) | Capterra Rating: 4.3/5 stars (162 reviews)
15. Best for video: Zoom
Despite the multiple video programs out there, Zoom continues to be the preferred sales enablement tool for video chat. With the ability to integrate with other tools and software, affordable plans, and other capabilities that allow you to collaborate with many team members at once, utilizing Zoom can have a lot of benefits for your company.
G2 Rating: 4.5/5 stars (40,058 reviews) | Capterra Rating: 4.6/5 stars (11,646 reviews)
16. Best for email: Yesware
Email marketing is still one of the best ways to connect with your audience. Yesware helps businesses drive revenue through email engagement without the overwhelm of complex sales software. Yesware integrates right into Outlook or Gmail so you can utilize the tools without having to change anything, and you can also link it to your CRM to log activity. It’s the perfect sales engagement tool.
G2 Rating: 4.4/5 stars (728 reviews) | Capterra Rating: 4.3/5 stars (163 reviews)
17. Best for calling: Aircall
As much as we rely on other forms of communication these days, business phone calls can be an effective—and necessary—way to contact your leads. Aircall aims to help facilitate “better conversations” between you and your customers. And, with a 10-minute set-up and other awesome features—like running outbound list dialer campaigns—you should be seeing results in no time! Sales managers can also hop into recorded calls to give their team valuable feedback.
G2 Rating: 4.3/5 stars (548 reviews) | Capterra Rating: 4.3/5 stars (250 reviews)
18. Best for chat: Intercom
Intercom is a great sales enablement tool in this category if you interact with your clientele via chat—a much more common sales approach these days. They’re known for helping increase ROI through smart chat-bots, even smarter, targeted messaging, and a user-friendly interface to help get it all done. They also have email campaign features you can set up to create “conversational experiences” to help your company scale.
G2 Rating: 4.4/5 stars (1,954 reviews) | Capterra Rating: 4.5/5 stars (790 reviews)
19. Best for texting: Textline
Most of us text every day as it’s one of the easiest ways to get in touch with somebody. And, when it comes to communicating with your customers, why should it be any different? Textline gives you the ability to connect with your leads and customers to have conversations, send reminders, automate recurring messages all via SMS, and all to help you drive sales.
G2 Rating: 4.3/5 stars (12 reviews) | Capterra Rating: 4.9/5 stars (138 reviews)
The bottom line
Investing in the right sales enablement tool(s) can work wonders for your biz. But, even with all the obvious benefits, what should you take into consideration before taking the leap?
Here’s what you should ask yourself:
- When is the right time for your company to start investing in these tools? What would this tool bring to your company in terms of growth? Again, some companies may choose to focus on utilizing a sales enablement tool from one category specifically, while others might want an all-around approach with a CRM tool.
- What’s your budget/what can you afford?
- Can you do a trial to see how you like a tool before committing?
- Are there tools that work hand-in-hand for better results?
- Is your team able to learn how to use these tools to their full potential?